Supreme Court’s order banning tourism activity in core areas of tiger reserves may pose a threat to the wildlife and forests, the Centre has claimed in an affidavit filed before the apex court.
Filed by inspector general of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), ministry of environment and forest (MoEF), the affidavit has placed the concerns expressed by various state governments regarding court’s July 24 interim order disallowing tourism activity.
It said, “The states have expressed concern that many local people depend on tourism for their livelihood and hence stoppage of tourism in core areas of tiger reserves would result in loss of such income leading to discontent which may be a threat to wildlife and forests.” NTCA further said the ban order would also deprive the common citizen an opportunity to appreciate the natural heritage.
NTCA seeks to review its own norms
Surprisingly, the authority also wants to review its own guidelines on tiger conservation. NTCA has sought permission to conduct a fresh consultation process with the states in wake of their suggestions and objections filed by various stakeholders including local population living around the core and buffer areas.
While banning tourism in core areas, SC had also directed the states having tiger reserves to define buffer zones. It had on the last hearing imposed R10,000 each on Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra and Jharkhand for not complying with its directions. The bench had warned of initiating contempt proceedings against chief secretaries if there was a failure to implement the court order.